In February 2013, I did a series on The Armour of God and outlined the various activities we did at Junior Soldiers/ Kids Church each week while we were studying this passage of scripture. One or two of these posts have been really popular! Many of the posts in the series were quite long with additional information about other things in them. Instead of linking all of these posts, I have condensed them into one long article here. This series was included in the "borrowed" and the "church chatter" labels. At the bottom of this post there are links to resources for Kids Church/ Junior Soldiers and parents who might like to explore the armour of God with children. I have used lots of images too, which you might like to copy.
Introducing Ephesians 6:14-17
We started by thinking about school (as we went back to school this week) and all the new things we buy to get us through the school year. J brought along his soccer and boxing kits and told us all about the clothing and protective gear that you use when playing each sport. We talked about the importance of each item and that if you don't have even one of them, you could get hurt or perform poorly on the field/ in the ring. Then we read Ephesians 6:10-18 and as each item was mentioned we put labels onto my drawing of a soldier in armour.
Today we played a few games. One of the boys got very distressed (he threw a tantrum) because he didn't win the game. We completed an activity sheet where the boys had their own soldier and a page of Armour pieces. We cut out the shield, sword, sandals, helmet, breast plate, belt and then glued them onto the soldier in the correct places. D finished first so he then added labels to his solider to make it look like mine. While we were completing the cut and paste activity (with a bit of colouring), I talked to the boys about times when Satan tries to get us to do the wrong thing. I reminded them that things don't always go our way and we might be tempted to hurt other people. God tells us to put on His Armour so that we can stand firm against the Devil. I asked the boys to mention times when we might be tempted to hurt others. When we wear the sandals of the Gospel of Peace, we don't have to worry about other people or Satan or situations making us weak, but we can return to the peace that only a relationship with Jesus can give. When we wear the Belt of Truth we don't have to worry about the horrible things people say to us, because we know the Truth about ourselves and God's love.
When the kids were finished their soldiers, we played hangman (which I later decided we should probably change) using 'parts' of the Armour. When we worked out the "Sword of the Spirit" I asked the boys if it was a real sword. They remembered, thankfully, that it wasn't a sword but what it really meant was The Bible. God's Word is the greatest 'weapon' we have to 'fight' against Satan.
Home Activity- put on your Armour every morning when you get ready to face the world. Remember every item and that God is with you always.
Scroll to the bottom for links to black and white posters/ worksheets you can use to do this activity.
Week 3- God's Cricket Bat
This particular week, I only had one student so I planned the lesson around him. D and I had a great chat about his favourite sport. Cricket!
I heard about ducks and sixes and fours and men with long and complicated names. I heard about summer conditions and helmets and pads and types of shoes. I heard about the seam on the cricket ball and the wickets and teams and the scores.
The message we discussed was about Jesus' temptation in the desert. We talked about how Jesus 'fought' off the Devil. D worked it out all on his own that Jesus was using the Armour of God. Of course, there are some things that are not the same but basically Jesus stood firm in the knowledge that He was the son of God. He was ready and He stood firm against Satan in the sandals of peace and in the breastplate of righteousness. Jesus used the shield of his Faith and especially, the Sword of the Spirit to put Satan in his place. Jesus was the perfect example of a soldier of God.
Week 4- More Cricket and Armour
D brought his cricket kit to Junior Soldiers and showed us all the bits and pieces. He put on the padded gloves and both D and J told me all about the ball and the bat and the gloves and the pads and their purpose. D used a 'soldier' template to make a Cricket Player with all his gear on. We talked about how the pads protect the body and the helmet protects the face. D told me that no one wore helmets to play cricket until a professional player broke his jaw during a game when a ball hit him. From then on it was decided that players who were in close range of bowling and batting would wear helmets.
The kids constructed their own "Armour of God" today. I brought along two large boxes (one had initially housed an air conditioner and another had contained a chair from IKEA) and we cut pieces from the boxes. We cut up Pepsi Max boxes for helmets and wrapped parts of the cardboard in aluminium foil to make swords and breastplates. At the end of our lesson today, we filmed a video of Ephesians 6:10-20. I read from the Scripture and the boys dressed up in the armour as each item was mentioned. While his handmade sword was pretty cool, J insisted on using the cricket bat as his "sword of the Spirit".
That was the end of our series. The boys really enjoyed exploring this topic over a period of time and I think they learned so much more than if we had only done these activities in one day and moved on. Here are some images that I used in blog posts and to show the children throughout the month that we learned about the Armour of God. There are some link and resource below as well.
RESOURCES: I created my own cut and paste sheet by drawing a soldier and the accessories myself. But if you would prefer to just press print, check out these links.
Black and White Poster
Printable in various colours